Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Entertainment Review #1 (Part Two)

The Killers: Sam's Town
When I first heard the single release "When You Were Young" I thought it was really good and got me excited enough top buy the album, and after good reviews in Q (4 stars) and knowing that they worked with Flood (U2's 'Achtung baby') and had Anton Corbijn (Designed the cover to 'The Joshua Tree') design the cover, I bought it - and I haven't looked back. The Killers are growing in grandeur, and seem to know where they are going. I can honestly say that the first eight tracks are brilliant and the tracks after that I can't fully recommend - purely on the basis that I have not listened to them as much (I kept flicking back to previous tracks goddamn)
I thought the first album was brilliant, although it took longer to 'get into' in comparison t 'Sam's Town'.
'Bling (Confession of a King)' is a great track to follow on the superb 'When we were young' that, from the moment you hear Brandon Flowers voice you know that he is pushing his voice that little bit further than he did on the 'Hot Fuss'. A personal favourite track on the album 'For Reasons Unknown' shows the variety of Flowers voice. 'Read My Mind' is step down from the speed of the opening few tracks, and 'Uncle Jonny' then shoots you back up to the speed tht you are used to with The Killers.
I don't think I know enough about music to make too many comparison. Enough reviews seem to link Bruce Springsteen with this album (I should really get into Bruce Springsteen then ... ), the bonus track on the UK edition reminds me a little of Marc Bolan though, and U2 is in there somewhere too ...

Editors: The Back Room
The first I heard of 'The Editors' was at The Isle of Wight festival, as there is only one stage there, whatever artist is on, you watch - and 'The Editors' were on and some memory was embedded I my head. Sarah told me she listened to the album at her workplace and she liked it (alongside the 'hint, hint' to me). then I heard that 'The Editors' were also performing at V Festival (Though they were on at the same time as 'Beck' so I missed them) and were also nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. So, they were constantly in my mind and eventually - after taking the hint from Sarah for a present - I personally have only just got round to listening to the album myself and, I have to admit - it is awesome. Originally, 'Munich' was the only track I heard (on the National Mercury Music Prize CD), and that had already won me over.
Stand out tracks are 'Lights', 'Munich', 'Blood', 'Bullets' and 'Distance'. Tom Smith's voice does remind me of another vocalist (Some Eighties guy - Duran Duran? Erasure? A-Ha?)... but nevertheless, it is his voice - and how he sings the songs - that make each track so good!

Bic Runga: Drive
This album was released in 1997, but after buying her second album 'Beautiful Collision', and then seeing her live at V2006, I had to buy this debut album. The first two tracks - 'Drive' and 'Sway' are absolutely beautiful. Her voice simply glides over the acoustic guitars and, after these two tracks (that I am sure most people have heard before)
I won't go on too much about this one because I have been told to cut these down (Jo, Richard, etc), and also this is a pretty old CD - so, quickly, this album is not just for the softly-singing female-voice fans, she also has a very subtle 'rock' edge. I prefer the softer tracks, but you can see the range of vocal talents she has on this one album - obviously, for 'Beautiful Collision' she realised that the softer tracks really are more her thing, but it is a nice debut album that does justice to her.

James Newton Howard: The Village OST/Signs OST
Briefly, these two soundtracks were not bought on a whim (Well, one was). I watched 'The Village' and subsequently bought the DVD and the composer stated how he specifically wanted to use the violinist Hilary Hahn on the soundtrack because she was one of his favourite violinists in the contemporay classical scene. When the DVD showed her play the violin, I realised that this soundtrack stood out because it could stand spearately to the film - unlike many scores that base themselvesa round excactly what happens on screen, this soundtrack uses the violinist to play a part, and bases the soundtrack around her - no doubt Hilary Hahns Violin symbolizes Bryce Dallas Howards character in 'The Village'. Nevertheless, the soundtrack is not set in the order as it is used in the film, so I feel that obviously Howard does want to stand the score out separately from the film. It is a short CD (45mins approx) so it has no tracks that continue for way too long, it consists of the short themes from the film and nothing more.
'Signs' on the other hand is your standard soundtrack - and you will only really like it if you are very fond of the film (As I am), so it brings back the feelings and emotions you felt when watching the film. If anything, it does stand out as a cracking score, but with no knowledge of the film I have a feeling it would simply appear to be the repetetive sticcato strings and big bangs that, in many ways, it is.